I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Thanks in part to our not so routine January. I’m now settling into what feels like a normal schedule and I’m ready to recount my many adventures of that last few weeks. On Thursday the 10th, Jeremy and I boarded a plane bound for LA. It had been over 5 years since I had traveled by plane. I was thrilled to be at a place where I could actually travel again. I’ve been on road trips since having kids, but when it came to flying, I literally felt grounded. Jeremy was invited to be a part of a team of youth pastors and children’s pastors that met together to discuss books & ideas that will grow their leadership capacity. Part of this group experience was a trip to Southern California to visit churches and talk with their leadership about philosophies of ministry. I wanted Jeremy to participate in this experience, but the the trip fell over my birthday weekend. I couldn’t handle the idea of Jeremy being in So Cal over my birthday weekend while I stayed home, so I invited myself along. Thankfully, the leaders of the trip agreed to let me come.
The best part of this trip was that I got to process these churches and meetings in person with Jeremy, instead of hearing the information secondhand. It was great to sit in a church gathering with my husband and then afterwards discuss our observations and what really stood to out to us from the conversations we had with the pastors. Our first stop on this adventure was Angelus Temple in LA. That night, we drove from LA to San Diego. In San Diego, we visited North Coast Church and New Break Church. I also tried Frisbee golf for the first time. Let’s just say I’m not going pro, but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected. Anything sportsy and I really don’t go together, but it’s amazing what you’ll do when you’re a part of a group (aka it wasn’t optional)…
Monday the 14th was my birthday and it was the day that the group was splitting up to head home. Instead of taking off for home, Jeremy and I picked up a rental car and drove to Old Town San Diego. We celebrated our honeymoon in San Diego 12 years ago and Jeremy has long dreamed of having tacos at this one restaurant he remembers vividly as having the best tacos ever. I had envisioned us eating in their courtyard just like did 12 years ago, smiling like newlyweds again… However, the weather had other plans. Our whole time in California was colder than I had expected (I froze). And it turned out to be wet too. My birthday was quite rainy. Without the palm trees around, I would have thought I was in Seattle and not So Cal. We still ate the restaurant we remembered, but we had to eat in their indoor seating area. It will still a great way to spend a birthday lunch before driving up to Anaheim. This was the big treat for my birthday! Once we arrived in Anaheim, we met up with one of my dearest friends for dinner. It was a great dinner and since time with this California friend is so rare, it was definitely a gift! And I was right by Disneyland… with plans to spend the entire at Disney the day after my birthday.
Jeremy and I planned to make the most of our one Disney day. We got a park hopper ticket and started in California Adventure before they even let you into the ride areas. Throughout the day, we hopped parks multiple times, we hit many coincidental moments that let us ride on all the rides we had hoped for with relatively short wait times. I think our longest wait time was 25 minutes. It had been 8 years since I had visited these Disney parks and so many of the rides had been changed. It was great because they were still the rides I remembered, but with new tweaks that enhanced the experience. We walked to the parks in the rain that morning but thankfully the rain cleared up from about 9am-3pm. After 3pm, the rain started to move in more steadily. By the time we left the parks around 7:30pm, it was a full on downpour with flash flood warnings being issued. My original plan was stay at the park until 8pm when it closed, but so many things were already closed by 7:30pm that it seemed like a good time to leave. We put in a full day, we went on all the rides we wanted, ate really good food, went souvenir shopping. We did it all! We were completely soaked through by the time we got back to the hotel. Despite the rain, it was really fun to do the park with just Jeremy. We did Disney together 8 years ago, but it was with a group, so this time we got to do everything at our own pace. And without the kids, I wasn’t trying to keep an eye on anyone and make sure little legs were keeping up. We did all the roller coasters and rides that we don’t think the kids will be able to go on when we finally make it there with them. The weather also helped keep the crowds down. The parks weren’t empty, but they certainly weren’t crowded.
This was the longest I had been away from my boys and I missed them. It didn’t feel quite like my birthday without them helping me blow out the candles on my birthday cake. In fact, I didn’t blow out any candles on my birthday. The first day back I ran to Safeway and got a small cake, so I could celebrate with the kids. It just needed to happen. More for me than for them, but I know they appreciated it!
Now after a busy weekend of lunches & dinner with friends, church and a morning at the dentist, I am ready to settle back into life at home. It feels so good to be back after a grand adventure. This trip was full of memories and I am so grateful for the opportunity I got to make them. Now back to the real world!